Type of site
|Created by||Christopher Poole|
|Registration||None available (except for staff)|
|Launched||October 1, 2003|
4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard website. Launched by Christopher "moot" Poole in October 2003, the site hosts boards dedicated to a wide variety of topics, from anime and manga to video games, music, literature, fitness, politics, and sports, among others. Registration is not available and users typically post anonymously; posting is ephemeral, as threads receiving recent replies are "bumped" to the top of their respective board and old threads are deleted as new ones are created. As of May 2021[update], 4chan receives more than 20 million unique monthly visitors, with more than 900,000 posts made daily.
4chan was created as an unofficial English-language counterpart to the Japanese imageboard Futaba Channel, also known as 2chan, and its first boards were created for posting images and discussion related to anime. The site has been described as a hub of Internet subculture, with its community being influential in the formation of prominent Internet memes, such as lolcats, Rickrolling, rage comics, and Wojaks, as well as hacktivist and political movements, such as Anonymous and the alt-right. 4chan has often been the subject of media attention as a source of controversies, including the coordination of pranks and harassment against websites and Internet users, and the posting of illegal and offensive content. The Guardian summarized the 4chan community of 2008 as "lunatic, juvenile (...) brilliant, ridiculous and alarming".
The majority of posting on 4chan takes place on imageboards, where users have the ability to share images and create threaded discussions. The site's homepage lists 70 imageboards and one Flash animation board, divided into seven categories: Japanese Culture, Video Games, Interests, Creative, Other, Misc. (NSFW), and Adult (NSFW). Each board has its own set of rules and is dedicated to a specific topic, variously including anime and manga, video games, music, literature, fitness, politics, and sports, among others. As of 2019, the /pol/ (Politically Incorrect), /v/ (Video Games), /vg/ (Video Games Generals), and /b/ (Random) boards receive the most daily posts.
4chan is the Internet's most trafficked imageboard, according to the Los Angeles Times. 4chan's Alexa rank is 1042 as of June 2020[update] though it has been as high as 56. It is provided to its users free of charge and consumes a large amount of bandwidth; as a result, its financing has often been problematic. Poole has acknowledged that donations alone could not keep the site online, and turned to advertising to help make ends meet. However, the explicit content hosted on 4chan has deterred businesses who do not want to be associated with the site's content. In January 2009, Poole signed a new deal with an advertising company; in February 2009, he was $20,000 in debt, and the site was continuing to lose money. The 4chan servers were moved from Texas to California in August 2008, which upgraded the maximum bandwidth throughput of 4chan from 100Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s.
Unlike most web forums, 4chan does not have a registration system, allowing users to post anonymously. Any nickname may be used when posting, even one that has been previously adopted, such as "Anonymous" or "moot". In place of registration, 4chan has provided tripcodes as an optional form of authenticating a poster's identity. As making a post without filling in the "Name" field causes posts to be attributed to "Anonymous", general understanding on 4chan holds that Anonymous is not a single person but a collective (hive) of users. Moderators generally post without a name even when performing sysop actions. A "capcode" may be used to attribute the post to "Anonymous ## Mod", although moderators often post without the capcode. In a 2011 interview on Nico Nico Douga, Poole explained that there are approximately 20 volunteer moderators active on 4chan.[note 1] 4chan also has a junior moderation team, called "janitors", who may delete posts or images and suggest that the normal moderation team ban a user, but who cannot post with a capcode. Revealing oneself as a janitor is grounds for immediate dismissal.
4chan has been the target of occasional denial of service attacks. For instance, on December 28, 2010, 4chan and other websites went down due to such an attack, following which Poole said on his blog, "We now join the ranks of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, et al.—an exclusive club!"
The site was launched as 4chan.net on October 1, 2003, by Christopher Poole, a then-15-year-old student from New York City using the online handle "moot". Poole had been a regular participant on Something Awful's subforum "Anime Death Tentacle Rape Whorehouse" (ADTRW), where many users were familiar with the Japanese imageboard format and Futaba Channel ("2chan.net"). When creating 4chan, Poole obtained Futaba Channel's open source code and translated the Japanese text into English using AltaVista's Babel Fish online translator.[note 1] After the site's creation, Poole invited users from the ADTRW subforum, many of whom were dissatisfied with the site's moderation, to visit 4chan, which he advertised as an English-language counterpart to Futaba Channel and a place for Western fans to discuss anime and manga. At its founding, the site only hosted one board: /b/ (Anime/Random).[note 1]
Before the end of 2003, several new anime-related boards were added, including /h/ (Hentai), /c/ (Anime/Cute), /d/ (Hentai/Alternative), /w/ (Wallpapers/Anime), /y/ (Yaoi), and /a/ (Anime). Additionally, a lolicon board was created at /l/ (Lolikon), but was disabled following the posting of genuine child pornography and ultimately deleted in October 2004, after threats of legal action. In February 2004, GoDaddy suspended the 4chan.net domain, prompting Poole to move the site to its current domain at 4chan.org. On March 1, 2004, Poole announced that he lacked the funds to pay the month's server bill, but was able to continue operations after receiving a swarm of donations from users. In June 2004, 4chan experienced six weeks of downtime after PayPal suspended 4chan's donations service after receiving complaints about the site's content. Following 4chan's return, several non-anime related boards were introduced, including /k/ (Weapons), /o/ (Auto), and /v/ (Video Games). In 2008, nine new boards were created, including the sports board at /sp/, the fashion board at /fa/ and the "Japan/General" (the name later changed to "Otaku Culture") board at /jp/.
In January 2011, Poole announced the deletion of the /r9k/ ("ROBOT9000") and /new/ (News) boards, saying that /new/ had become devoted to racist discussions, and /r9k/ no longer served its original purpose of being a test implementation of xkcd's ROBOT9000 script. During the same year, the /soc/ board was created in an effort to reduce the number of socialization threads on /b/. /r9k/ was restored on October 23, 2011, along with /hc/ ("Hardcore", previously deleted), /pol/ (a rebranding of /new/) and the new /diy/ board, in addition to an apology by Poole where he recalls how he criticized the deletion of Encyclopedia Dramatica and realized that he had done the same.
On January 21, 2015, Poole stepped down as the site's administrator, citing stress from controversies such as Gamergate as the reason for his departure. On September 21, 2015, Poole announced that Hiroyuki Nishimura had purchased from him the ownership rights to 4chan, without disclosing the terms of the acquisition. Nishimura was the former administrator of 2channel between 1999 and 2014, the website forming the basis for anonymous posting culture which influenced later websites such as Futaba Channel and 4chan; Nishimura lost 2channel's domain after it was seized by his registrar, Jim Watkins, after the latter alleged financial difficulties.
In October 2016, it was reported that the site was facing financial difficulties that could lead to its closure or radical changes. In a post titled "Winter is Coming", Hiroyuki Nishimura said, "We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry", citing server costs, infrastructure costs, and network fees.
On November 17, 2018, it was announced that the site would be split into two, with the work-safe boards moved to a new domain, 4channel.org, while the NSFW boards would remain on the 4chan.org domain. In a series of posts on the topic, Nishimura explained that the split was due to 4chan being blacklisted by most advertising companies, and that the new 4channel domain would allow for the site to receive advertisements by mainstream ad providers.
In a 2020 interview with Vice Media, several current or past moderators spoke about what they perceived as racist intent behind the site's management. They described how a managing moderator named RapeApe is attempting to use the site as a tool for the alt-right, and how Nishimura is "hands off, leaving moderation of the site primarily to RapeApe." Neither Nishimura nor RapeApe responded to these allegations.
In April 2009, Poole was voted the world's most influential person of 2008 by an open Internet poll conducted by Time magazine. The results were questioned even before the poll completed, as automated voting programs and manual ballot stuffing were used to influence the vote. 4chan's interference with the vote seemed increasingly likely, when it was found that reading the first letter of the first 21 candidates in the poll spelled out a phrase containing two 4chan memes: "mARBLECAKE. ALSO, THE GAME."
On September 12, 2009, Poole gave a talk on why 4chan has a reputation as a "Meme Factory" at the Paraflows Symposium in Vienna, Austria, which was part of the Paraflows 09 festival, themed Urban Hacking. In this talk, Poole mainly attributed this to the anonymous system, and to the lack of data retention on the site ("The site has no memory.").
In April 2010, Poole gave evidence in the trial United States of America v. David Kernell as a government witness. As a witness, he explained the terminology used on 4chan to the prosecutor, ranging from "OP" to "lurker". He also explained to the court the nature of the data given to the FBI as part of the search warrant, including how users can be uniquely identified from site audit logs.
The "random" board, /b/, follows the design of Futaba Channel's Nijiura board. It was the first board created, and was described in 2009 as 4chan's most popular board, accounting for 30% of site traffic at the time. Gawker's Nick Douglas summarized /b/ as a board where "people try to shock, entertain, and coax free porn from each other." /b/ has a "no rules" policy, except for bans on certain illegal content, such as child pornography, invasions of other websites (posting floods of disruptive content), and under-18 viewing, all of which are inherited from site-wide rules. The "no invasions" rule was added in late 2006, after /b/ users spent most of that summer "invading" Habbo Hotel. The "no rules" policy also applies to actions of administrators and moderators, which means that users may be banned at any time, for any reason, including for no reason at all. Due partially to its anonymous nature, board moderation is not always successful—indeed, the site's anti-child pornography rule is a subject of jokes on /b/. Christopher Poole told The New York Times, in a discussion on the moderation of /b/, that "the power lies in the community to dictate its own standards" and that site staff simply provided a framework.
The humor of /b/'s many users, who refer to themselves as "/b/tards", is often incomprehensible to newcomers and outsiders, and is characterized by intricate inside jokes and dark comedy. Users often refer to each other, and much of the outside world, as fags. They are often referred to by outsiders as trolls, who regularly act with the intention of "doing it for the lulz", a corruption of "LOL" used to denote amusement at another's expense. The New York Observer has described posters as "immature pranksters whose bad behavior is encouraged by the site's total anonymity and the absence of an archive". Douglas said of the board, "reading /b/ will melt your brain", and cited Encyclopedia Dramatica's definition of /b/ as "the asshole of the Internets [sic]". Mattathias Schwartz of The New York Times likened /b/ to "a high-school bathroom stall, or an obscene telephone party line", while Baltimore City Paper wrote that "in the high school of the Internet, /b/ is the kid with a collection of butterfly knives and a locker full of porn." Wired describes /b/ as "notorious".
Each post is assigned a post number. Certain post numbers are sought after with a large amount of posting taking place to "GET" them. A "GET" occurs when a post's number ends in a special number, such as 12345678, 22222222, or every millionth post. A sign of 4chan's scaling, according to Poole, was when GETs lost meaning due to the high post rate resulting in a GET occurring every few weeks. He estimated /b/'s post rate in July 2008 to be 150,000–200,000 posts per day.
/pol/ ("Politically Incorrect") is 4chan's political discussion board. A stickied thread on its front page states that the board's intended purpose is "discussion of news, world events, political issues, and other related topics." /pol/ was created in October 2011 as a rebranding of 4chan's news board, /new/, which was deleted that January for a high volume of racist discussion.
Although there had previously been a strong left-libertarian contingent to 4chan activists, there was a gradual rightward turn on 4chan's politics board in the early-mid 2010s. The board quickly attracted posters with a political persuasion that later would be described with a new term, the alt-right. Media sources have characterized /pol/ as predominantly racist and sexist, with many of its posts taking an explicitly neo-Nazi bent. The Southern Poverty Law Center regards /pol/'s rhetorical style as widely emulated by white supremacist websites such as The Daily Stormer; the Stormer's editor, Andrew Anglin, concurred. /pol/ was where screenshots of Trayvon Martin's hacked social media accounts were initially posted. The board's users have started antifeminist, homophobic, transphobic, and anti-Arab Twitter campaigns.
Many /pol/ users favored Donald Trump during his 2016 United States presidential campaign. Both Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., appeared to acknowledge the support by tweeting /pol/-associated memes. Upon his successful election, a /pol/ moderator embedded a pro-Trump video at the top of all of the board's pages.
/r9k/ is a board which implements Randall Munroe's "ROBOT9000" algorithm, where no exact reposts are permitted. The board was initially centered around NEET and hikikomori lifestyles, and is credited as the origin of the "greentext" rhetorical style. By 2012, personal confession stories of self-loathing, depression, and attempted suicide, began to supersede /b/-style roleplaying, otaku, and video game discussion.
The users of /r9k/ built upon by then popular 4chan memes "epic win" and "fail" to group the human population into "alphas", or stereotypical well-adjusted popular people, and "betas", or stereotypical geek-ish social rejects, self-identifying with the latter. It became a popular gathering place for the controversial online incel community. The "beta uprising" or "beta rebellion" meme, the idea of taking revenge against women, jocks and others perceived as the cause of incels' problems, was popularized on the sub-section. It gained more traction on the forum following the Umpqua Community College shooting, where it is believed that the shooter, Chris Harper-Mercer, also warned people not to go to school in the Northwest, hours prior to the shooting as users encouraged him. The perpetrator of the Toronto van attack referenced 4chan and an incel rebellion in a Facebook post he made prior to the attack, while praising self-identified incel Elliot Rodger, the killer behind the 2014 Isla Vista killings. He claims to have talked with both Harper-Mercer and Rodger on Reddit and 4chan and believes that he was part of a "beta uprising", also posting a message on 4chan about his intention the day before his attack.
Early internet memes
Many early memes that originated at 4chan have gained media attention. This included "So I herd u liek mudkipz" [sic], which involved a phrase based on Pokémon and which generated numerous YouTube tribute videos, and the term "an hero" [sic] as a synonym for suicide, after a misspelling in the Myspace online memorial of seventh grader Mitchell Henderson. 4chan and other websites, such as the satirical Encyclopedia Dramatica, have also contributed to the development of significant amounts of leetspeak.
A lolcat is an image combining a photograph of a cat with text intended to contribute humour. The text is often idiosyncratic and grammatically incorrect. In 2005, the meme was widely popularized by 4chan in the form of "Caturday". Every Saturday, users posted pictures of cats with image macros relating to that day's theme.
In 2005, a meme known as the "duckroll" began, after Poole used a word filter to change "egg" to "duck" across 4chan. Thus, words such as "eggroll" were changed to "duckroll". This led to a bait-and-switch in which external links disguised as relevant to a discussion instead led to a picture of a duck on wheels. An unidentified 4chan user applied the concept of the duckroll to a 2007 post relating to the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. In March of that year, the game's trailer had been released, and the game's immense popularity caused publisher Rockstar Games' website to crash. The user posted a YouTube link that purportedly led to the trailer, but in reality directed users to the music video for Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up". Thus, the "rickroll" was born. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Astley said he found the meme "bizarre and funny".
A link to the YouTube video of Tay Zonday's song "Chocolate Rain" was posted on /b/ on July 11, 2007. The Age reported that 4chan posters urged each other to "swarm" the video on YouTube and thus increase its ranking. The video became an immensely popular Internet meme, resulting in cover versions by John Mayer and Green Day drummer Tré Cool. The portion of the song in which Zonday turns away from the microphone, with a caption stating "I move away from the mic to breathe in", became an oft-repeated meme on 4chan and inspired remixes.
The character of Boxxy is portrayed by Catherine "Catie" Wayne, an American Internet celebrity known for her highly energetic vlogs. Her rise to exposure began in late 2008 and early 2009, surrounding self-made videos that were initially made to be posted to her Gaia Online profile. They then spread to 4chan and other sites, resulting in a large online following.
In his American incarnation, Pedobear is an anthropomorphic bear child predator that is often used within the community to mock contributors showing a sexual interest in children. Pedobear is one of the most popular memes on non-English imageboards, and has gained recognition across Europe. In February 2010, a photoshopped version of Pedobear appeared along with mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics in an article on the games in Gazeta Olsztyńska, a Polish newspaper. This was done accidentally; due to the image being used from Google Images, the authors were unaware of the joke. Similarly, the Dutch television guide Avrobode used one of the images. It has been used as a symbol of pedophilia by Maltese graffiti vandals prior to a papal visit.
Anonymous and anti-Scientology activism
4chan has been labeled as the starting point of the Anonymous meme by The Baltimore City Paper, due to the norm of posts signed with the "Anonymous" moniker. The National Post's David George-Cosh said it has been "widely reported" that Anonymous is associated with 4chan and 711chan, as well as numerous Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels.
Through its association with Anonymous, 4chan has become associated with Project Chanology, a worldwide protest against the Church of Scientology held by members of Anonymous. On January 15, 2008, a 4chan user posted to /b/, suggesting participants "do something big" against the Church of Scientology's website. This message resulted in the Church receiving threatening phone calls. It quickly grew into a large real-world protest. Unlike previous Anonymous attacks, this action was characterized by 4chan memes including rickrolls and Guy Fawkes masks. The raid drew criticism from some 4chan users who felt it would bring the site undesirable attention.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom
The adult fandom and subculture dedicated to the children's animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic began on the "Comics & Cartoons" (/co/) board of 4chan. The show was first discussed with some interest around its debut in October 2010. In an article published on the animation website Cartoon Brew, titled The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation, the writer Amid Amidi referenced the then-recent debut of the show as an example of how the talent of creators such as Lauren Faust was being used to work on behalf of an established toy-centric property rather than original ideas developed by creators themselves. The article was shared on /co/, where the alarmist tone of the essay provoked heightened interest in the show, resulting in praise for its plot, characters, and animation style.
The moderation of My Little Pony related topics on 4chan became controversial; discussion of the show extended to the /b/ board, reaching a volume and intrusiveness that was eventually met with hostile reactions from other 4chan users. This resulted in intervention from a moderator, with an introduction of automatic one day ban on the use of the word "pony", to prevent discussion of the show. Discussion of the show began to spread to communities external to 4chan in reaction, including the establishment of the fan news website Equestria Daily, causing the show to reach a wider audience across the internet. These events were described as a "civil war" internal to 4chan. The site administrator moot eventually settled the matter by creating the board dedicated to discussion of the show, "Pony" (/mlp/), and apologised on behalf of the moderation team for neglecting "one of the largest subcultures in 4chan's history". There is a ban on discussion of the show globally on the site outside of this board, under "Global Rule 15". This ban extends to discussion about, or sharing images of or from, the video game Them's Fightin' Herds, due to its history.
Other media attention
Arrests for animal abuse
On February 15, 2009, a user uploaded two YouTube videos that showed the physical abuse of a domestic cat named Dusty by a person calling himself "Timmy". The 4chan community was able to track down the originator of the videos, a fourteen-year-old from Lawton, Oklahoma, and passed his details to his local police department. As a result of this, a suspect was arrested and the cat was treated by a veterinarian and taken to a safe place.
"This post is art"
On July 30, 2014, an anonymous user made a reply in a thread on the board /pol/ "Politically Incorrect" of 4chan, criticizing modern art in an ironic fashion, saying:
Art used to be something to cherish
Now literally anything could be art
This post is art.— Anonymous
Less than an hour later the post was photographed off the screen and framed by another user who posted another reply in the thread with a photo of the framed quote. Later the user, after endorsement by other anonymous users in the thread, created an auction on eBay for the framed photo which quickly rose to high prices, culminating in a price of $90,900.00.
Death of Jeffrey Epstein
A report of Jeffrey Epstein's death was posted on /pol/ around 40 minutes before ABC News broke the news. It was originally suspected that the unidentified person who made the posts may have been a first responder, prompting a review by the New York City Fire Department, who later confirmed that the post did not come from a member of its department.
According to The Washington Post, "the site's users have managed to pull off some of the highest-profile collective actions in the history of the Internet."
Users of 4chan and other websites "raided" Hal Turner by launching DDoS attacks and prank calling his phone-in radio show during December 2006 and January 2007. The attacks caused Turner's website to go offline. This cost thousands of dollars of bandwidth bills according to Turner. In response, Turner sued 4chan, 7chan, and other websites; however, he lost his plea for an injunction and failed to receive letters from the court.
KTTV Fox 11 aired a report on Anonymous, calling them a group of "hackers on steroids", "domestic terrorists", and collectively an "Internet hate machine" on July 26, 2007. Slashdot founder Rob Malda posted a comment made by another Slashdot user, Miang, stating that the story focused mainly on users of "4chan, 7chan and 420chan". Miang claimed that the report "seems to confuse /b/ raids and motivational poster templates with a genuine threat to the American public", arguing that the "unrelated" footage of a van exploding shown in the report was to "equate anonymous posting with domestic terror".
On July 10, 2008, the swastika CJK unicode character (卐) appeared at the top of Google's Hot Trends list—a tally of the most used search terms in the United States—for several hours. It was later reported that the HTML numeric character reference for the symbol had been posted on /b/, with a request to perform a Google search for the string. A multitude of /b/ visitors followed the order and pushed the symbol to the top of the chart, though Google later removed the result.
Later that year, the private Yahoo! Mail account of Sarah Palin, Republican vice presidential candidate in the 2008 United States presidential election, was hacked by a 4chan user. The hacker posted the account's password on /b/, and screenshots from within the account to WikiLeaks. A /b/ user then logged in and changed the password, posting a screenshot of him sending an email to a friend of Palin's informing her of the new password on the /b/ thread. However, he forgot to blank out the password in the screenshot. A multitude of /b/ users attempted to log in with the new password, and the account was automatically locked out by Yahoo!. The incident was criticized by some /b/ users. One user commented, "seriously, /b/. We could have changed history and failed, epically." The FBI and Secret Service began investigating the incident shortly after its occurrence. On September 20 it was revealed they were questioning David Kernell, the son of Democratic Tennessee State Representative Mike Kernell.
The stock price of Apple Inc. fell significantly in October 2008 after a hoax story was submitted to CNN's user-generated news site iReport.com claiming that company CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a major heart attack. The source of the story was traced back to 4chan.
In May 2009, members of the site attacked YouTube, posting pornographic videos on the site. A 4chan member acknowledged being part of the attack, telling BBC News that it was in response to YouTube "deleting music". In January 2010, members of the site attacked YouTube again in response to the suspension of YouTube user lukeywes1234 for failing to meet the minimum age requirement of thirteen. The videos uploaded by the user had apparently become popular with 4chan members, who subsequently became angered after the account was suspended and called for a new wave of pornographic videos to be uploaded to YouTube on January 6, 2010. Later the same year, 4chan made numerous disruptive pranks directed at singer Justin Bieber.
In September 2010, in retaliation against the Bollywood film industry's hiring of Aiplex Software to launch cyberattacks against The Pirate Bay, Anonymous members, recruited through posts on 4chan boards, subsequently initiated their own attacks, dubbed Operation Payback, targeting the website of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. The targeted websites usually went offline for a short period of time due to the attacks, before recovering.
The website of the UK law firm ACS:Law, which was associated with an anti-piracy client, was affected by the cyber-attack. In retaliation for the initial attacks being called only a minor nuisance, Anonymous launched more attacks, bringing the site down yet again. After coming back up, the front page accidentally revealed a backup file of the entire website, which contained over 300 megabytes of private company emails, which were leaked to several torrents and across several sites on the Internet. It was suggested that the data leak could cost the law firm up to £500,000 in fines for breaching British Data Protection Laws.
In January 2011, BBC News reported that the law firm announced they were to stop "chasing illegal file-sharers". Head of ACS:Law Andrew Crossley in a statement to a court addressed issues which influenced the decision to back down "I have ceased my work ... I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats."
In August 2012, 4chan users attacked a third-party sponsored Mountain Dew campaign, Dub the Dew, where users were asked to submit and vote on name ideas for a green apple flavor of the drink. Users submitted entries such as "Diabeetus", "Fapple", several variations of "Gushing Granny", and "Hitler did nothing wrong".
Threats of violence
On October 18, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security warned National Football League officials in Miami, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland, and Cleveland about a possible threat involving the simultaneous use of dirty bombs at stadiums. The threat claimed that the attack would be carried out on October 22, the final day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security expressed doubt concerning the credibility of the threats, but warned the relevant organizations as a precaution. The games proceeded as planned but under a higher level of security awareness. The threats came to light in the national media after Jake Brahm admitted to having posted the threats on 4chan and repeating them on other websites approximately 40 times.
Hello, /b/. On September 11, 2007, at 9:11 am Central time, two pipe bombs will be remote-detonated at Pflugerville High School. Promptly after the blast, I, along with two ther Anonymous, will charge the building, armed with a Bushmaster AR-15, IMI Galil AR, a vintage, government-issue M1 .30 Carbine, and a Benelli M4 semi auto shotgun.
—The Pflugerville threat
Brahm did not expect the message to be taken seriously since he "would never take anything posted on 4chan as fact"; an FBI official was quoted as saying the "credibility of [the threat] was beyond ridiculous". As a parody of the incident, 4chan temporarily added "Don't mess with football" as an additional rule for /b/. On October 20, 2006, Brahm turned himself in to federal authorities, and was charged with fabricating a fake terrorist threat and taken into custody. On February 28, 2008, he pleaded guilty to the federal charges. On June 5, 2008, he was sentenced to six months in prison, six months' house arrest, and ordered to pay $26,750 in restitution.
Around midnight on September 11, 2007, a student posted photographs of mock pipe bombs and another photograph of him holding them while saying he would blow up his high school—Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas—at 9:11 am on September 11. Users of 4chan helped to track him down by finding the perpetrator's father's name in the Exif data of a photograph he took, and contacted the police. He was arrested before school began that day. The incident turned out to be a hoax; the "weapons" were toys and there were no actual bombs.
Jarrad Willis, a 20-year-old from Melbourne, Australia was arrested on December 8, 2007, after apparently posting on 4chan that he was "going to shoot and kill as many people as I can until which time I am incapacitated or killed by the police". The post, accompanied by an image of another man holding a shotgun, threatened a shopping mall near Beverly Hills. While the investigation was still open, Willis was charged with criminal defamation for a separate incident but died before the case was heard.
On February 4, 2009, a posting on the 4chan /b/ board said there would be a school shooting at St Eskils Gymnasium in Eskilstuna, Sweden, leading 1,250 students and 50 teachers to be evacuated. A 21-year-old man was arrested after 4chan provided the police with the IP address of the poster. Police said that the suspect called it off as a joke, and they released him after they found no indication that the threat was serious.
On January 21, 2014, an anonymous poster started a thread on /b/ identifying a student named Westley Sullivan who apparently went to the same high school as the poster. The original post included a link to Westley Sullivan's Facebook profile, which has since been taken down, and a screenshot of a post which said "if fairview isnt closed tomorrow im going to blow it up", referring to Sullivan's high school, Fairview High School, in Ashland, Kentucky. A few anonymous individuals went to Sullivan's Facebook profile and found his address, phone number, school ID number, school schedule and teachers, and other personal information. Information like his teachers and ID number had been posted directly, and the more personal information like his address was found in the EXIF data of some of the pictures posted on his profile. These individuals then contacted Fairview school officials and the local police department, as well as the FBI. The next day it was learned that police had arrested Sullivan in his home and he had been charged with 2nd degree terroristic threatening, a Class D felony in Kentucky.
On June 28, 2018, a man named Eric M. Radulovic was arrested following an indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice "on one count of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another." The indictment alleged that Radulovic posted anonymously to /pol/ the day after the Unite the Right rally, communicating an intention to attack protestors at an upcoming right-wing demonstration, ostensibly to elicit sympathy for the alt-right movement. "I’m going to bring a Remington 700 and start shooting Alt-right guys. We need sympathy after that landwhale got all the liberals teary eyed, so someone is going to have to make it look like the left is becoming more violent and radicalized. It’s a false flag for sure, but I’ll be aiming for the more tanned/dark haired muddied jeans in the crowd so real whites won’t have to worry," wrote Radulovic, according to the indictment.
Arrests for child pornography
On November 29, 2010, Ali Saad, a 19-year-old, was arrested and had his home raided by the FBI for posting child pornography and death threats on 4chan. Ali had first visited 4chan "a week before [the FBI raid] happened". He admitted to downloading about 25 child pornography images from 4chan.
After 4chan reported a 15-year-old boy in California who posted child pornography, the United States Department of Homeland Security raided his home on June 7, 2011, and took all of his electronic items.
On February 17, 2012, Thaddeus McMichael was arrested by the FBI for child pornography charges after posting comments on Facebook claiming that he possessed child pornography. According to the official criminal complaint filed against Thaddeus, he admitted to obtaining child pornography from the /b/ board on 4chan.
Celebrity photo leaks
On August 31, 2014, a large number of private photographs taken by celebrities were posted online due to a compromise of user passwords at iCloud. The images were initially posted on 4chan. As a result of the incident, 4chan announced that it would enforce a Digital Millennium Copyright Act policy, which would allow content owners to remove material that had been shared on the site illegally, and would ban users who repeatedly posted stolen material.
Also in August 2014, 4chan was involved in the Gamergate controversy, which began with unsubstantiated allegations about indie game developer Zoë Quinn from an ex-boyfriend, followed by false allegations from anonymous Internet users. The allegations were followed by a harassment campaign against several women in the video game industry, organized by 4chan users, particularly /r9k/. Discussion regarding Gamergate was banned on 4chan due to alleged rule violations, and Gamergate supporters moved to alternate forums such as 8chan.
Murder in Port Orchard, Washington
According to court documents filed on November 5, 2014, there were images posted to 4chan that appeared to be of a murder victim. The body was discovered in Port Orchard, Washington, after the images were posted. The posts were accompanied by the text: "Turns out it's way harder to strangle someone to death than it looks on the movies." A later post said: "Check the news for Port Orchard, Washington, in a few hours. Her son will be home from school soon. He'll find her, then call the cops. I just wanted to share the pics before they find me." The victim was Amber Lynn Coplin, aged 30. The suspect, 33-year-old David Michael Kalac, surrendered to police in Oregon later the same day; he was charged with second-degree murder involving domestic violence. Kalac was convicted in April 2017 and was sentenced to 82 years in prison the following month.
Bianca Devins murder
On July 14, 2019, 17-year-old Bianca Devins was murdered by 21-year-old Brandon Clark of Utica, New York after the two went to a concert together. The suspect took pictures of the victim's bloodied deceased body and posted it to Discord and his own Instagram page. The photos were widely shared on Instagram and other sites, particularly on 4chan where many users mocked and celebrated her death, saying she deserved it and praising the killer while depicting Devins as a manipulative young woman. Devins had developed a small following online and was a 4chan user herself.
AT&T temporary ban
On July 26, 2009, AT&T's DSL branch temporarily blocked access to the img.4chan.org domain (host of /b/ and /r9k/), which was initially believed to be an attempt at Internet censorship, and met with hostility on 4chan's part. The next day, AT&T issued a statement claiming that the block was put in place after an AT&T customer was affected by a DoS attack originating from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org, and was an attempt to "prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and... our other customers." AT&T maintains that the block was not related to the content on 4chan.
In the end, this wasn't a sinister act of censorship, but rather a bit of a mistake and a poorly executed, disproportionate response on AT&T's part. Whoever pulled the trigger on blackholing the site probably didn't anticipate [nor intend] the consequences of doing so. We're glad to see this short-lived debacle has prompted renewed interest and debate over net neutrality and Internet censorship—two very important issues that don't get nearly enough attention—so perhaps this was all just a blessing in disguise.
Verizon temporary ban
On February 4, 2010, 4chan started receiving reports from Verizon Wireless customers that they were having difficulties accessing the site's image boards. After investigating, Poole found out that only the traffic on port 80 to the boards.4chan.org domain was affected, leading members to believe that the block was intentional. Three days later, Verizon Wireless confirmed that 4chan was "explicitly blocked". The block was lifted several days later.
- moot (October 1, 2003). "Welcome". 4chan. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Advertise - 4chan". 4chan.org. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
- Michaels, Sean (March 19, 2008). "Taking the Rick". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on July 27, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Douglas, Nick (January 18, 2008). "What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And "b"?". Gawker.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- "FAQ – What is 4chan?". 4chan. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- "4chan – Rules". 4chan. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- Sarno, David (July 12, 2008). "Rise and fall of the Googled swastika". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- "4chan.org – Site Information". Alexa. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
- Landers, Chris (March 2, 2008). "Serious Business". Baltimore City Paper. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (February 12, 2008). "The long and short of it". 4chan. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Grossman, Lev (July 9, 2008). "The Master of Memes". TIME. Vol. 172 no. 3. United States. pp. 50–51. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Hesse, Monica (February 17, 2009). "A Virtual Unknown; Meet 'Moot,' the Secretive Internet Celeb Who Still Lives With Mom". The Washington Post. pp. 23–24. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (August 6, 2012). "Beyond One Billion". 4chan News.
- Langton, Jerry (September 22, 2007). "Funny how 'stupid' site is addictive". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – How do I post anonymously?". 4chan. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – Can I register a username?". 4chan. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – How do I use a "tripcode"?". 4chan. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – Who is "Anonymous"?". 4chan. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – What is a capcode?". 4chan. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "FAQ – What are "janitors"?". 4chan. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
- "Web attack takes Anonymous activists offline". BBC News. December 29, 2010. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
- Brophy-Warren, Jamin (July 9, 2008). "Modest Web Site Is Behind a Bevy of Memes". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Dibbell, Julian (August 23, 2010). "Radical Opacity". MIT Technology Review.
- O'Brien, Danny (May 2, 2008). "Tuning into innovation outside the confines of English-speaking web". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- Orsini, Lauren (September 21, 2015). "How The 4chan Sale Returns The Controversial Forum To Its Anime Roots". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- "Moot x Hiroyuki Social Media Talk Session (ID: 57271090)". nicovideo.jp. July 27, 2011. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- "News". 4chan. August 14, 2004. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- "4chan history | Jonathan's Reference Pages". Jonnydigital.com. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "News". 4chan. August 14, 2004. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (June 20, 2004). "Ding Dong, 4chan is Dead". 4chan News.
- The Team (August 11, 2004). "We're Back!". 4chan News.
- "News". 4chan. August 14, 2004. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- "News". 4chan. February 29, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "Why were /r9k/ and /new/ removed?". January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (October 23, 2011). "Welcome back, robots". 4chan /r9k/.
- "News". 4chan. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "Pass". 4chan. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- Kushner, David (March 13, 2015). "4chan's Overlord Christopher Poole Reveals Why He Walked Away". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (January 21, 2015). "The Next Chapter". 4chan. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Skipper, Ben (January 21, 2015). "Christopher Poole Leaves 4chan". International Business Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Issac, Mike (September 21, 2015). "4chan Message Board Sold to Founder of 2Channel, a Japanese Web Culture Pioneer". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- Bolton, Doug (September 21, 2015). "Christopher 'Moot' Poole sells anarchic imageboard 4chan to 2channel owner Hiroyuki Nishimura". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 3, 2019.
- Cuthbertson, Anthony (September 21, 2015). "4chan sold by Moot to 2channel founder Hiroyuki Nishimura". International Business Times. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
- Akimoto, Akky (March 20, 2014). "Who holds the deeds to gossip bulletin board 2channel?". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on July 7, 2018.
- "現2chは「違法な乗っ取り」状態──ひろゆき氏？が新サイト「2ch.sc」開設を予告" [The current 2ch is in an “illegal takeover” state — Mr. Hiroyuki? Announces launch of new site "2ch.sc"]. ITmedia ニュース (in Japanese). April 1, 2014. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- Watkins, Jim (February 19, 2014). "Let's talk with Jim-san. Part21". Anago.2ch.net. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
The previous management was not able to generate enough income to pay the bills for the expenses of running 2ch. Previously I allowed some autonomy to them. During that time my name has been slandered. The ability for 2ch to generate enough income to stay open was damaged. I hope that with proper management that 2ch can recover.
- Woolf, Nicky (October 5, 2016). "Future of 4chan uncertain as controversial site faces financial woes". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- Dunn, Matthew (October 4, 2016). "4chan could soon be shutdown as the Internet's most notorious community goes broke". news.com.au. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "HIRO WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING". 4chan (archived by Desuarchive). Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Arthur, Rob (November 2, 2020). "The Man Who Helped Turn 4chan Into the Internet's Racist Engine". Vice Media. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- Time Staff (April 27, 2009). "The World's Most Influential Person Is..." Time. Archived from the original on September 30, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- Heater, Brian (April 27, 2009). "4Chan Followers Hack Time's 'Influential' Poll". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
- Schonfeld, Erick (April 21, 2009). "4Chan Takes Over The Time 100". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
- "moot wins, Time Inc. loses". Music Machinery. April 27, 2009. Archived from the original on May 3, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- Reddit Top Links. "Marble Cake Also the Game [PIC]". Buzzfeed.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- "Paraflows 09, Program for Saturday, Sep 12 2009". Paraflows.at. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- Herwig, Jana (April 6, 2010). "Moot on 4chan and why it works as a meme factory". Digiom Blog. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
- Jamieson, Alastair (August 11, 2010). "Sarah Palin hacker trial provides 'lolz' courtesy of 4chan founder". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on July 7, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "Transcript of Chris Poole before the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips on April 22, 2010" (PDF). United States of America vs. David C. Kernell, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Northern Division. April 22, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 20, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Sorgatz, Rex (February 18, 2009). "An Interview With The Founder of 4chan". Fimoculous.com. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
- Poole, Christopher "moot" (July 11, 2008). "/b/". 4chan. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Schwartz, Mattathias (August 3, 2008). "The Trolls Among Us". The New York Times Magazine. p. 24. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
- Dibbell, Julian (January 18, 2008). "Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: Put the Blame on Griefers". Wired. Archived from the original on May 12, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- Kay, Jonathan (August 6, 2008). "You'll miss us when we're gone". National Post. Canada: The National Post. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Jeffries, Adrianne (January 31, 2011). "From the Creator of 4chan Comes the More Mature Canvas". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on February 4, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- "FAQ on GETs". 4chan. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- Grossman, Lev (July 10, 2008). "Now in Paper-Vision: The 4chan Guy". TIME. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- "/pol/ - Politically Incorrect". 4chan. April 6, 2014.
- Nagle 2017, p. 13.
- Wendling, Mike (2018). Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House. Pluto Press. ISBN 978-1-78680-237-8.
- Dewey, Caitlin (September 25, 2014). "Absolutely everything you need to know to understand 4chan, the Internet's own bogeyman". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- Siegel, Jacob (June 29, 2015). "Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Alfonso, Fernando III (July 13, 2014). "#EndFathersDay is the work of 4chan, not feminists". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Schwartz, Or (December 7, 2014). "4chan Trolls Take Over Electronic Billboard, Racism Ensues". Vocativ. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Bankoff, Caroline (March 29, 2012). "White Supremacist Claims to Have Hacked Trayvon Martin's Email, Social Media Accounts". New York. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Mackey, Robert (March 29, 2012). "Bloggers Cherry-Pick From Social Media to Cast Trayvon Martin as a Menace". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Eördögh, Fruzsina (June 20, 2014). "What the Internet's Most Infamous Trolls Tell Us About Online Feminism". Vice News. Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Plenke, Max (May 20, 2015). "Trolls Are Paying Twitter to Promote Hate Speech – And There's Nothing Stopping Them". Mic. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Evon, Dan (December 7, 2017). "Is LGBT Adding a 'P' for Pedosexual?". Snopes.
- Lee, Oliver (March 13, 2016). "Understanding Trump's Troll Army". Motherboard. Vice Media. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Ohlheiser, Abby (November 9, 2016). "'We actually elected a meme as president': How 4chan celebrated Trump's victory". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Steinblatt, Jacob (October 15, 2015). "Donald Trump Embraces His 4Chan Fans". Vocativ. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Schreckinger, Ben (March–April 2017). "World War Meme". Politico. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Welcome to /r9k/: /r9k/ is an imageboard where there are no exact reposts." (archive) (2015-10-24) [accessed 20-07-18]
- moot (October 23, 2011). "Welcome back, robots". 4chan /r9k/. Retrieved August 16, 2019 – via WebCite.
- Beran, Dale (Jul 30, 2019). It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 9781250219473. Quote: "In /r9k they found commiseration, but they also found addictive withdrawal expressed in a strange, self-loathing duality. Popular posts featured tips on how to quit the board, stat[istics] on how long robots had managed to stay away, and many fond farewells. 'Goodbye. My therapist says I need to let this place go,' a typical post read, appended with replies like 'good luck' and 'maybe someday for me, too.'"
- Agustin IV, Morado (2016). From readerly to writerly (and back again): a rhetorical analysis of greentext stories. Northern Illinois University.
- Anthony McCosker, Sonja Vivienne, Amelia Johns (Oct 12, 2016) Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest and Culture. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 134. ISBN 9781783488902
- Alt, Matt (Jun 23, 2020). Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World. Crown. p. 273. ISBN 9781984826701.
- Dewey, Caitlin (October 7, 2015). "Incels, 4chan and the Beta Uprising: making sense of one of the Internet's most-reviled subcultures". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Beauchamp, Zack (April 23, 2019). "Our incel problem". VOX.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Boake, Kathy (March 2016). "The New Man of 4Chan". The Baffler. New York City. Archived from the original on September 18, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Cole, Gina (October 1, 2015). "What is 4chan? Website under scrutiny after shootings". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Russan, Mary-Ann (October 2, 2015). "Oregon shooting: Did 4chan trolls incite Chris Harper-Mercer to massacre at Umpqua Community College?". International Business Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Williams, Mary Elizabeth (October 5, 2015). ""The Beta Rebellion has begun": 4chan warnings about more school shootings aren't "satire" — they're sick". Salon.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Branson-Potts, Hailey; Winton, Richard (April 26, 2018). "How Elliot Rodger went from misfit mass murderer to 'saint' for group of misogynists — and suspected Toronto killer". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Bacon, John (April 25, 2018). "Incel: What it is and why Alek Minassian praised Elliot Rodger". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Humphreys, Adrian (September 27, 2019). "'It was time that I stood up to the Chads and Stacys': What the van-attack accused told Toronto police". National Post. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Lamoureux, Mack (September 27, 2019). "Toronto Van Attacker Wanted 'Beta Uprising' to Inspire Other Attacks". VICE. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Schwartz, Mattathis (August 3, 2008). "The Trolls Among Us". The New York Times Magazine.
- Moran, Caitlin (June 20, 2008). "Scientology: the Anonymous protestors". The Times. London. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- Richards, Paul (November 14, 2007). "Iz not cats everywhere? Online trend spreads across campus". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Steel, Sharon (February 1, 2008). "The cuteness surge". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on August 25, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- "The Biggest Little Internet Hoax on Wheels Hits Mainstream". Fox News Channel. April 22, 2008. Archived from the original on April 22, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Sarno, David (May 25, 2008). "Web Scout exclusive! Rick Astley, king of the 'Rickroll,' talks about his song's second coming". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- "Thread 32640395". 4chanarchive.org. Archived from the original on June 21, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Ricketson, Matthew (July 16, 2008). "YouTube research shows picture is changing rapidly". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- Ingram, Mathew (August 15, 2007). "Who is Tay Zonday?". The Globe and Mail. Canada. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Montgomery, Garth (August 1, 2007). "Chocolate Rain goes huge". news.com.au.
- Johnson, Bobbie (January 20, 2009). "How Boxxy brought the web to its knees". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Cario, Erwan (January 11, 2011). "Le grand retour de Boxxy". Libération (in French). Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Jutras, Lisan (February 6, 2009). "The face that launched an online war". Globe and Mail. Canada. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Larrouy, Sophie-Marie (January 22, 2009). "Foxy Boxxy : celle qui parle pour ne rien dire". madmoiZelle.com (in French). Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "'Pedobear' an Olympic mascot?". Toronto Sun. February 10, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
- Moore, Matthew (February 8, 2010). "Polish newspaper claims 'Pedobear' is 2010 Vancouver Olympic mascot". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "Ook AVRO in de fout met Pedobear". GeenStijl. February 11, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "Papal billboards vandalism 'does not respect people's sentiments'- Curia". The Times. Malta. April 10, 2010. p. 7.
- George-Cosh, David (January 25, 2008). "Online group declares war on Scientology". National Post. Canada. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- LaMarche, Una (March 8, 2011). "Pony Up Haters: How 4chan Gave Birth to the Bronies". The Observer. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- Vara, Vauhini; Zimmerman, Ann (November 4, 2011). "Hey, Bro, That's My Little Pony! Guys' Interest Mounts in Girly TV Show". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- Watchcutter, Angela (June 9, 2011). "My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as 'Bronies'". Wired. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- von Hoffman, Constantine (May 31, 2011). "My Little Pony: the Hip, New Trend Among the Geekerati". BNET. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- McKean, Erin (December 2, 2011). "The secret language of bros". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- Beck, Jerry (September 24, 2011). "We've Created A Bronster!". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Welcome to /mlp/ - Pony". Desuarchive. Archived from the original on September 25, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- O'Brien, Danny (February 20, 2009). "Online users stick claws into torturer". Irish Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- "4chan /b/ goes after cat abusers, wins". Inquisitr.com. February 16, 2009. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- "Archived Thread". 4plebs.org. July 30, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Dewey, Caitlin (August 5, 2014). "A photo of a 4chan post sold for almost $100,000, because 'art'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "4chan screenshot sells for $90K on eBay". CNET. August 3, 2014. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Framed 4chan post 'sells' for $90,000 on eBay, screenshot of auction now up for bidding". The Independent. August 4, 2014. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "eBay Bidder Buys 4chan Screenshot, as Art, for $90,000". Artnews. August 4, 2014. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Winter, Tom; Collins, Ben; Arkin, Daniel (August 14, 2019). "4chan user posted about Jeffrey Epstein's death before it was public". NBC News. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
- Yancey-Bragg, N'dea (August 13, 2019). "4chan post about Epstein's death before news was public didn't come from FDNY, officials say". USA Today. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
- Cha, Ariana Eunjung (August 10, 2010). "4chan users seize Internet's power for mass disruptions". Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- "Harold C. "Hal" Turner v. 4chan.org". Justia Federal District Court Filings. January 19, 2007. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- "FOX 11 Investigates: 'Anonymous'". MyFOX Los Angeles. KTTV (Fox Broadcasting Company). July 26, 2007. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2007.
- Miang, CmdrTaco, ed. (July 28, 2007). "AC=Domestic Terrorists?". Slashdot. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Phillips, Tom (September 17, 2008). "Sarah Palin's email gets hacked". Metro. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
- Stephey, M. J. (September 17, 2008). "Sarah Palin's E-mail Hacked". TIME. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
- Sarno, David (September 17, 2008). "4Chan's half-hack of Palin's email goes awry". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
- Bosak, Steve (September 20, 2008). "Suspect Nabbed in Palin E-mail Hack". NewsFactor. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
- Sandoval, Greg (October 4, 2008). "Who's to blame for spreading phony Jobs story?". CNet News. Archived from the original on July 28, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
- Cheng, Jacqui (October 3, 2008). "Friday Apple links: Steve Jobs still not dead edition". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
- Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (May 22, 2009). "YouTube besieged by porn videos". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on May 27, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
- Courtney, Siobhan (May 21, 2009). "Pornographic videos flood YouTube". BBC News. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
- Bunz, Mercedes (January 6, 2010). "YouTube faces 4chan porn attack". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on January 10, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- Emery, Daniel (July 5, 2010). "Prank leaves Justin Bieber facing tour of North Korea". BBC News. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.; "Record label brands Justin Bieber tour vote "a hoax"". BBC. July 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
- Singh, Divyesh (September 5, 2010). "Bollywood hiring cyber hitmen to combat piracy". Daily News and Analysis. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
- Saetang, David (September 20, 2010). "RIAA, MPAA Websites Pummeled By 4chan's Wrath". PCWorld. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- "4chan Attack Brings Down MPAA Website". Gawker.com. September 18, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Wakefield, Jane (January 25, 2011). "Law firm stops chasing pirates". BBC News. Archived from the original on January 25, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- enigmax (September 25, 2010). "ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
- Williams, Chris (September 28, 2010). "ACS:Law's mocking of 4chan could cost it £500k". The Register. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- "Web pranksters hijack restaurant's Mountain Dew naming contest". Time. August 12, 2012. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "4chan users hijack Mountain Dew contest". The Daily Dot. August 13, 2012. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Dolmetsch, Chris; Voreacos, David (October 20, 2006). "Wisconsin Man Is Charged in Fake NFL Stadium Threats". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2006.
- Mark, Roy (October 20, 2006). "Man Charged in Internet Bomb Threats". InternetNews.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- Thomas, Pierre (October 16, 2006). "NFL Stadium Threat: Officials Skeptical But Issue Warning". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- "4chanarchive — Thread 39101047". 4chanarchive.com. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Ex-Grocery Clerk Gets 6 Months for NFL Stadium Attack Hoax". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. June 5, 2008. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- Smothers, Ronald (October 20, 2006). "Man, 20, Arrested in Stadium Threat Hoax". New York Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2007.
- Gaudin, Sharon (June 16, 2008). "Man gets six months for posting terror threat online". Computerworld. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- "4chanarchive — Thread 39168208". 4chanarchive.com. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Pflugerville Student Arrested After Posting Bomb Threats". KXAN. September 12, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Police Investigate Bomb Threat at Pflugerville High School". Fox Television Stations, Inc. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Teen arrested for threatening to blow up school". Twean News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- "Juvenile arrested in Pflugerville H.S. bomb threat". KVUE. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Letter from Pflugerville Highschool". Pflugerville High School. Retrieved September 11, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Hudson, Fiona; Houlihan, Liam (December 9, 2007). "Student faces jail over online joke". Herald Sun. Australia: news.com.au. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- "Australian Police Arrest Man Who Threatened to Attack Los Angeles Mall". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. December 8, 2007. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Edwards, Geoff (June 30, 2008). "Hoax student charges". Frankston Standard Leader. Leader Community Newspapers. p. 1. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
- Davies, Shaun (July 31, 2008). "Mall massacre hoax accused dies". ninemsn. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
- Sivesson, Sara (February 4, 2009). "Hemsidan som chockar "vuxen-Sverige"". realtid.se (in Swedish). Alternativ Media Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
- Sæby, Inger-Marit (February 4, 2009). "Svensk skole evakueres etter trusler". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
- "Young man arrested over school threat". The Local / TT. February 4, 2009. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
- "21-åringen släpptes efter förhör". Eskilstuna-Kuriren (in Swedish). February 4, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.[dead link]
- WSAZ News Staff. "Teen Arrested for Threatening to Blow Up School". wsaz.com. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- "Terroristic threatening in the second degree". lrc.ky.gov. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- US Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts (June 8, 2018). "Indianapolis Man Arrested for Threatening Boston Free Speech Rally Attendees in 2017". justice.gov. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- Time Waster (February 7, 2011). "Another 4chan User Gets Busted By FBI: Student, 19, facing child porn, death threat charges. February 7, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (June 22, 2011). "4chan Child Porn Fan Sentenced To Three Years In Federal Pen June 22, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (March 21, 2011). "Child Porn Plea On Deck For Navy Man Who Found Illicit Images On 4chan. March 21, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (February 14, 2011). "Another 4chan Fan Arrested On Federal Charges: Navy man copped to getting child porn from web site. February 14, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (November 3, 2010). "4chan Linked To Federal Kiddie Porn Probe: NCIS: Sailor obtained illicit images from popular site. November 3, 2010". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (May 18, 2011). "Arrested Man Credits 4chan With Helping Him Grow His Child Porn Collection. May 18, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Time Waster (June 29, 2011). "Feds Raid Boy's Home Over 4chan Child Porn Post: Notorious site's administrators sparked DHS probe. June 29, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Baldas, Tresa (March 2, 2012). "Man, 21, posts bond in child porn case over Facebook postings". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- "Complaint" (PDF), United States of America v. McMichael (Court Filing), E.D.M.I., No. 2:12-mj-30147:12-mj-30147 (Docket 1), February 29, 2012, retrieved July 25, 2017 – via Recap (PACER current docket view) p. 5
- "Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach". BBC News. September 2, 2014. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande Among Celebrities Exposed in Massive Nude Photo Leak". Variety. August 31, 2014. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- "Stolen celebrity images prompt policy change at 4Chan". BBC News. September 4, 2014. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Time Waster (January 25, 2011). "Face Behind The Name: Meet Matthew Riskin Bean, Convicted 4chan Cyberstalker. January 25, 2011". Thesmokinggun.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Stuart, Bob (October 24, 2014). "#GamerGate: the misogynist movement blighting the video games industry". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
Users from the messageboards Reddit – a sprawling series of communities – and 4chan – largely the trolls in the internet's basement – hurled false accusations
- Johnston, Casey (September 9, 2014). "Chat logs show how 4chan users created #GamerGate controversy". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Howell O'Neill, Patrick (November 17, 2014). "8chan, the central hive of Gamergate, is also an active pedophile network". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Chen, Adrian (October 27, 2014). "Gamergate Supporters Partied at a Strip Club This Weekend". New York. Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- "4chan Pics Match Slay Scene, Suspect David Kalac on Run: Investigators". NBC News. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "4chan Murder Suspect David Kalac Surrenders in Oregon". NBC News. November 5, 2014. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Binion, Andrew (May 16, 2017). "Port Orchard man sentenced to 82 years for murder". KING-TV. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Cooper, Kelly-Leigh (July 21, 2019). "Bianca Devins: The teenager whose murder was exploited for clicks". BBC News. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Dickson, E.J. (July 30, 2019). "Bianca Devins Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty". RollingStone.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Lohmann, Patrick (July 15, 2019). "Bianca Devins: Lies, scams, misogyny explode online before facts; grieving family debunks rumors". Syracuse.com. Archived from the original on August 30, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Cills, Hazel (July 16, 2019). "This Is How You Build a Dead Girl Narrative in Real Time". Jezebel.com. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Jeltsen, Melissa (July 19, 2019). "A Teen Girl Found Refuge Online — Then Her Murder Went Viral". HuffPost. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- "AT&T Reportedly Blocks 4chan. This Is Going To Get Ugly". TechCrunch. July 26, 2009. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- Price, Christopher (July 26, 2006). "AT&T Blocking Access to Portions of 4chan (Updated Again)". CentralGadget. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2006.
- Albanesius, Chloe (July 27, 2009). "AT&T Confirms 4chan Block After DoS Attack". PC Mag. Archived from the original on August 22, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "4chan Status". July 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 26, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Albanesius, Chloe (July 27, 2009). "AT&T Confirms 4chan Block After DoS Attack". PCMAG. Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
- "Feared Hackers Call Off Attack on AT&T". Fox News. July 28, 2009. Archived from the original on July 29, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- The Bryant Park Project (July 22, 2008). "When Your Pedicurist Is A Fish". NPR. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "Verizon Wireless restores 4Chan traffic". Wirelessfederation.com. February 10, 2010. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "4chan, 8chan, LiveLeak and Others Blocked by Australian Internet Companies over Mosque Massacre Video". Newsweek. March 19, 2019. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- "Australian telcos block dozens of websites hosting Christchurch terror video". the Guardian. March 19, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- Brodkin, Jon (March 20, 2019). "4chan, 8chan blocked by Australian and NZ ISPs for hosting shooting video". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- Nagle, Angela (2017). Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Winchester and Washington: Zero Books. ISBN 978-1-78535-543-1.
- Bernstein, Michael S.; Monroy-Hernández, Andrés; Harry, Drew; André, Paul; Panovich, Katrina; Vargas, Greg (2011). "4chan and /b/:An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community" (PDF). Proceedings of the Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: 50–57.
- Official website
- TED talk on 4chan
- Alfonso, Fernando III (October 1, 2013). "Now 10 years old, 4chan is the most important site you never visit". Interview with Christopher Poole. Daily Dot.
- "Complete history of 4chan". Tana's Inn. Wiki. December 7, 2018 . Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2018.